Adding salt to foods ups CVD risk

04 Dec 2022
Adding salt to foods ups CVD risk

The addition of salt to foods appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), particularly heart failure and ischaemic heart disease (IHD), suggests a study.

“We recently found that the frequency of adding salt to foods could reflect a person’s long-term salt taste preference and sodium intake and was significantly related to life expectancy,” said the investigators, who then conducted this study to determine whether the frequency of adding salt to foods correlated with incident CVD risk.

A total of 176,570 adults in the UK Biobank, who were initially free of CVD, were included in the analysis. The investigators estimated the association between the frequency of adding salt to foods and incident CVD events using Cox proportional hazards models.

During a median follow-up of 11.8 years, the investigators documented 9,963 total CVD events, 6,993 IHD cases, 2,007 stroke cases, and 2,269 heart failure cases.

After adjusting for covariates and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (a modified DASH score was used without considering sodium intake), lower frequency of adding salt to foods significantly correlated with a reduced risk of total CVD events

In comparison to the group that always added salt to foods, the adjusted hazard ratios were 0.81 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.73‒0.90), 0.79 (95 percent CI, 0.71‒0.87), and 0.77 (95 percent CI, 0.70‒0.84) across the usually, sometimes, and never/rarely groups, respectively (ptrend<0.001).

Among CVD subtypes, heart failure had the strongest association with adding salt (ptrend<0.001), followed by IHD (ptrend<0.001). On the other hand, stroke showed no association.

“We found that participants who combined a DASH-style diet with the lowest frequency of adding salt had the lowest CVD risk,” the investigators said.

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